Lever & Ecker, PLLC October 20, 2016 General
On Saturday, October 8th, 2016, the last thing that commuters on the Long Island Rail Road expected was to end up in the hospital. Yet, by the end of the night, that’s exactly where thirty-three of them ended up.
Shortly after the accident, Governor Cuomo updated the public. According to initial reports, the collision involved a commuter train heading eastbound which was carrying around 600 passengers and a work train. The work train was actually traveling in the same direction as the other one, however, investigators have determined that a piece of equipment on the work train did not allow for the two to pass one another unscathed. The force of the two hitting one another pushed the commuter train from its tracks and left “a splatter of yellow paint” on the side of the car.
A total of three cars in total left the tracks, causing serious injuries to those inside, including passengers who sustained multiple broken bones. Emergency crews arrived and had to use ladders in order to get everyone out. Meanwhile, the work train had caught on fire and firefighters worked to put out the flames.
Twenty-six of the injured were passengers and seven of them are employees.
Until the full investigation is performed, there is no way to know 100% who is responsible for this accident. However, there are several possibilities. First, human error could be the cause. If a worker was supposed to retract the equipment which invaded the commuter train’s tracks but failed to do so, they may be held liable. It is also possible that the equipment failed to position correctly due to a defect in the machine or a part of the machine. Then, the manufacturer may be responsible.
Whenever a manufacturer releases a product for sale on the market, they are responsible for making sure that the product is safe and that any potential issues regarding safety are on a warning label. Products do not simply apply to train parts, defective products encompasses:
Basically, any good that is bought can be considered a defective product.
Absolutely not. Although it is likely that the commuter train is covered by an insurance policy, there is never a guarantee that the insurance company will pay, or that the policy taken out will have limits that cover all of the injured. That’s why it is not uncommon for personal injury lawsuits to be filed after a train accident.
A personal injury lawsuit is filed when one party’s actions or lack of action results in injury and loss to another. The purpose of this claim is to regain monetary compensation for the losses that were sustained by the plaintiff.
Losses that may be covered by a settlement or verdict can include medical bills, physical pain and suffering from serious or disfiguring injuries, emotional trauma, and even lost wages. Every case is different and the amount obtained varies from case to case.
If you or a loved one have been contacted by a representative from either the LIRR or the insurance company covering them offering you a settlement, don’t make any decisions or sign any papers until you have spoken with an attorney.
Typically, when this happens, the party offering a quick settlement is attempting to minimize the amount of money they have to pay out. An attorney can review the case and determine if the offer is a fair one. They frequently can also negotiate a larger one.